Product Reviews

Best LIGHTWEIGHT ONE MAN tents.

There are several lightweight single-man tents available on the market, and the best one for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Here are three options to consider.

1.MSR Hubba NX: This freestanding tent is designed for solo backpacking and weighs just 1120 grams. It features a spacious interior with a vestibule for gear storage.

2. Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1: This ultralight tent weighs just 1130 grams and packs down to a small size. It has a single-pole design and features a large vestibule for gear storage.

3. Nemo Hornet OSMO: This tent is designed for fast and light adventures. It has a single-pole design and features two doors and vestibules for easy access and gear storage.

Keep in mind that while lightweight tents can be convenient for backpacking and other outdoor activities, they may sacrifice some durability and weather protection compared to heavier, more robust tents. It’s important to choose a tent that meets your needs and will keep you comfortable and protected in the conditions you expect to encounter.

Our Pick

MSR Hubba NX

£427.57

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL Bikepacking Tent

£524.95

NEMO Hornet OSMO 

£434.47
Weight (grams) 1120g 1130g 820g
Pros Possibility to add Hubba Gear Shed vestibule for two times the storage space

Head height is maintained over a wide area

Compact Poles:
“Short Stik” poles, which are an impressive 4 inch (10 cm) shorter than standard poles, making it easier to stash on your handle bars or panniers.

Storage: Number of handy storage pockets inside. 

Ultralight Design: Ultralight and designed for weight-conscious backpackers.

Spacious Foot area:
The triangulated area for the feet again improve the living space and protect the sleeping bag from condensation.

Seasons 3 season 3 season 3 season
Entrances 1 1 2
Freestanding Yes Yes Yes
Front or side entrance Side Side Front

Best HEAD TORCHES for hiking on multi day expeditions

Camping involved in multi-day packrafting trips can be in some of the most magnificently remote locations. Therefore, an essential piece of kit to remember is a torch. At Iron Raft we love the convenience of a head torch to allow you to continue doing tasks at camp like cooking and sorting kit for the next leg of the adventure.

As there are many great head torches available, we thought we would provide you with some of the top picks:

#1 Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp:

This headlamp offers up to a bright 350-lumens and a variety of lighting modes, including a red light for preserving night vision. Powered by battery this model uses three AAA batteries. The last notable benefit of this compact and durable model is the fact that it is waterproof (tested to operate 1.1m underwater for 30 minutes), perfect for the wet conditions of a packrafting adventure.

#2 Petzl Actik Core Headlamp:

Alternatively to the Black Diamond Spot, the Actik is rechargeable as it comes with 3 AAA batteries and its compatible with the core rechargeable battery thanks to the hybrid concept design. The Actik also offers a 350 lumen brightness and several lighting modes including a red lighting again to preserve your night vision and to prevent blinding fellow adventurers. Lastly the Actik is compatible with mounting accessories which can be useful for bike packing trips.

 

#3 BioLite, HeadLamp 425:

For a pricer option from the Spot and Actik you could opt for the Bio Lite 425. As it suggests in the name this is a more powerful model offering a brightness of 425 lumens. With 60 hours of life on the lowest setting and 4 hours on high this model could last you on a 3-4 multiday trip without the need to recharge however if needed this model is USB-C compatible. Lastly for ultra-lightweight trips this is a fantastic choice as it only weighs 78g.

 

#4 Nitecore HC60 Head Lamp:

For packrafting adventures that consist of long days covering larger distances you may be looking for a model that can illuminate further and for longer.  With the use of a 18650 Lithium battery the HC60 can last up to 680hours run time and impressively has a maximum beam distance of 117 metres. This model is a perfect match for rugged outdoor adventures with waterproofness up to 1 metre, multiple lighting modes and amazing adjustability. In case of an emergency you can also send SOS signals and has a location beacon.

 




Choosing a head torch can be overwhelming but with the options above we hope you find a model to suit your adventures, just remember to try on options as ultimately the best model for you will depend significantly on comfort!

 

Packrafting Accessories and Products You Can’t Live Without

Packrafting is an exciting new adventure that takes people over land and water on epic multi-day adventures.

And because you’ll be spending so much time on the water, there are a few must-have items for you to consider that will make your life more comfortable.

Some of these items you might already have, but it doesn’t harm to take a look:

#1 Dry Suit

Because you’ll be hiking over land and paddling in the water, keeping your clothes dry is essential. Walking in wet clothes is nearly unbearable, and with limited space in your boat, there are only so many dry clothes you can bring with you.

And this is why I like to wear a dry suit while I’m on the water. Dry suits like this allow you to wear your hiking clothes underneath without fearing them getting wet.

Another great thing about dry suits is you get to wear warm clothing underneath, so you’ll be warmer on the water than ever before.

They use a combination of latex and neoprene seals around the wrists, ankles, and neck, which stop water from seeping down through. While the breathable Nylon Shell helps you to regulate your body temperature.

When you’re done with the water, you can slip out of the dry suit and get straight onto your hike with minimal effort.

 

#2 PFD (Personal Floatation Device)

There are so many different styles of PFD for you to choose from, which can make life pretty difficult. 

One of the first things you need to consider is the type of water you will be paddling. There are five types of PFD, and which one you’ll need depends on the water you’ll be paddling.

I’m not going to go into the types here, so you can check out this link if you want to learn more about them.

If you’re packrafting on white water where there’s a chance you need to be rescued quickly, you’re going to need a type V PFD.

Personally, I like the ASTRAL WILLIS 515; it’s extremely low profile, which makes it easier to paddle. It also features multiple adjustment points, so you can find the right fit for you with little effort.

At the front of the PFD, you’ll find a zip pouch that gives you quick access to any of your important items, such as your kayak knife.

And if you’re looking to save space, you can always check out some of the inflatable PFDs. They allow you to pack down the PFD when you’re not using it so it will save space in your backpack.

They take a little bit more maintenance; of course, you need to be careful not to puncture the material.

 

#3 Waterproof Gloves

You might think that having gloves won’t make much difference, but it really does. It can get tough on your hands when you’re rafting down ice-cold water for multiple days. And a good set of waterproof gloves makes life a lot more comfortable.

One of my favorite waterproof gloves is SEALSKINZ. They are built with a three-layer construction, providing warmth, durability, and, most importantly, waterproofing.

The fingers are pre-curved, which gives you greater control when you’re paddling, and the PU suede palm gives you more grip when you need it the most.

5 Pieces of Camping Gear for your next Adventure

Camping is a huge part of packrafting, so you need to make sure you’re fully prepared if you want to have a good experience.

The thing is, when you’re packrafting, you can be pretty limited on space, so it won’t be the glamping experience many people are used to.

So, in this article, I wanted to talk you through some of the smallest camping must-haves on the market today:

 

#1 Duct Tape

Duct tape should be a vital piece of any person’s camping kit. It can be used as a temporary fix for almost any situation, whether it’s fixing your tent, tarp, sleeping bags, or even your hiking shoes.

You might think bringing a roll of duct tape with you will take up too much room, but this isn’t the case.

Many people wrap their lighter or walking poles with some duct tape. And this makes it quickly available and saves space.

 

#2 Tent Light

Having a light in your tent when the darkness creeps in is very handy. Yes, you could use your head torch, but I’ve always felt it’s better to save the battery for when you really need it.

This is why I turned to the Black Diamond Moji tent light. The small compact light is splash-proof and can run for 70 hours. It emits a bright warm light with 100 lumens, which is more than enough to brighten your entire tent.

 

#3 Dry Bags

Unfortunately, when you’re in the UK, you never know what the weather will be like. One moment you can be in glorious sunshine, and five minutes later, you’re in a storm.

That’s why having a set of dry bags of various sizes come in very handy. They allow you to keep your dry clothes dry and your valuables working.

And they are especially handy when you’re packrafting. You never know if you’ll end up in the water with all your gear.

 

#4 Long Spork

Sporks are my favorite piece of cutlery, they can do everything, but there’s one thing that used to wind me up.

And that was getting to the bottom of my camp meal. I always ended up getting my hands covered in food, trying to reach the bottom of the bag.

Until my friend showed me his long spork, and since then, I’ve never looked back. Long sporks allow you to easily reach the bottom of the bag, which means no more food-covered fingers.

I like to using this Titanium Long Spork, as it’s lightweight and long enough to reach to the bottom of my camp meal packets.

 

#5 Water Filter

Access to clean water is vital on long expeditions, but carrying 20 liters of water isn’t possible, even in your packraft.

So, the question is, what’s the best way to access clean drinking water without carrying heavy loads?

Personally, I like to use the following:

 

As you can see, the amount of water they can filter safely varies greatly, so you must choose the best one for your needs.

Essential Packrafting Kit: 4 Bits Of Kit You Shouldn’t Be Without

With people looking for more ways to experience adventure in their lives, packrafting has become an exciting thought. The thing is: If you don’t know much about packrafting, you probably have no idea what you need to bring with you.

So, in this article, I wanted to give you some insight into the essential packrafting kit you shouldn’t leave your house without. Let’s take a look. 

#1 Excellent Footwear

When you’re packrafting, one thing you need to consider is that you’re not restricted to the waterways, which means you’re almost guaranteed to find yourself hiking at some point. 

So what does this mean in terms of footwear?

Because you will be navigating water and land, you need to find flexible and comfortable footwear for both land and water. When choosing footwear, you need to consider how much hiking you will do. If you’re going to spend a large part of your journey on land, it’s best if you bring a decent pair of hiking boots and a separate pair of paddling shoes.

#2 Bring A Waterproof Jacket

Obviously, when you’re on the water, you need to expect to get wet at some point. And having a waterproof top layer can really help to make your life more manageable.

Now, you have two options:

  1. Dry cags
  2. Waterproof jackets

While dry cags are made explicitly for paddle sports, they aren’t great for hiking, so you’ll probably be better suited to a more traditional waterproof jacket.

A waterproof jacket can function well on and off the river, which is essential when you’re packrafting. You will need to ensure you can paddle comfortably, so when testing out your jacket move your arms in the paddling motion and ensure that the jacket doesn’t ride up and make you uncomfortable. 

Some features to look out for when choosing a jacket are closures around the wrist to prevent water from running up your arm and an elasticated hem to provide a good seal.

#3 Sun Protection

Being out on the water during sunny days feels excellent, but it’s not great for your body, so you need to consider sun protection… and we’re not just talking about sun cream!

A baseball cap provides excellent protection from the sun and can prevent up to 50% of UV radiation from hitting your eyes.

And adding a decent pair of polarized sunglasses can further this while reducing the glare from the water.

You can also find rashguards with UV protection that can greatly reduce the chances of sunburn and, more importantly, skin cancer.

#4 Cord & Carabiners

No packrafting kit is complete without a selection of cords and carabiners; they can come in super handy, and here’s why:

You can use the cord and carabiners to secure your backpack to the packraft, so you don’t have to worry about it floating off if you hit some rapids.

Or, you can use it to secure your water bottle so it’s always within reach, and if it does bounce into the water, you can easily pull it back.

Ideally, look at about 5 meters of 3mm cord and about four or five carabiners. Ensure that you buy locking carabiners as these are safer to use in water, this ensures you can’t accidentally get yourself clipped into a carabiner when trying to leave your packraft.